Impact and Use

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The point of this section is to illustrate the impact that OER is having on practice. On some level we might have to be satisfied to illustrate through example how institutions and organizations are adopting OER in practice, and making inference to some of the benefits identified earlier in the document (cost reduction, improved quality, localization, access, etc.). If we are able to then identify examples, descriptions, case studies, accounts, etc. about how it has specifically benefited faculty, students, communities, etc. that would be just fantastic. So, if you know of projects that have been impacted by OER and have documented stories about the impact of OER on education, communities, etc. please add then to the list below with a description. If you have any comments or additional input, please use the Discussion page [1]. Even if we do not include all of the organizations, activities, and stories in the proposal, they will be a great resource for those running the project as we seek partners.

PLEASE NOTE: The descriptions below are taken directly from the project web sites. They will need to be modified and appropriately referenced.

Recommended Format for Impact Illustrations:

  • Description of Project/Activity
  • Story - additional information
  • Nature of impact relative to one or more OER benefits (cost reduction, improved quality, localization, access, etc.) on a stakeholding group (faculty, students, administrators, practitioners, society, etc.)

Open High School of Utah: [1] The Open High School of Utah is an online charter high school. OHSU offers an incredible personalized curriculum, individualized learning experiences, caring, state-certified teachers, and the flexibility of studying from your home or wherever else you may be. And because the Open High School of Utah is a public high school, there's no cost to Utah residents to attend - it's free! We are currently engaged in a process of finding and organizing existing open educational resources for use in the courses we will be teaching. We'll be complementing these existing curriculum resources with materials we create from scratch and openly license to the community. We're drawing curriculum materials from some the best collections of open educational resources across the country.

University of the People: [2] The University of the People promises to open the gates of higher education to anyone in the world interested in attending college. We believe that education at a very minimal cost is a basic right for all suitable applicants, not just for a privileged few. The University of the People is based on the premise that education is crucial to the advancement of individuals and of society at large. There are millions of people around the world, especially in developing countries, who are excluded from higher education for various reasons: some live far away from academic institutions, others cannot afford the admission fee and tuition for the local university.

Peer to Peer University: [3] The Peer 2 Peer University (P2PU) is an online community of open study groups for short university-level courses. Think of it as online book clubs for open educational resources. The P2PU helps you navigate the wealth of open education materials that are out there, creates small groups of motivated learners, and supports the design and facilitation of courses. Students and tutors get recognition for their work, and we are building pathways to formal credit as well.

China Open Resources for Education (CORE): [4] The China Open Resource for Education is a non-profit organization. Her mission is to promote closer interaction and open sharing of educational resources between Chinese and international universities, which CORE envisions as the future of world education. CORE is committed to providing Chinese universities with free and easy access to global open educational resources.

Tecnológico de Monterrey Cite error: Closing </ref> missing for <ref> tag: Since June 2008, KHUB has been open to anyone wanting to search for sharable learning resources. During this time, Tecnológico de Monterrey has piloted the project with more than 475 teachers who have been collaborating by selecting and capturing metadata records for OERs. At the moment, more than 7,762 OERs (of which 1,078 have also been audited, and 661 cataloged) have been indexed from 24 disciplines, including accounting, agriculture, architecture, art and design, biology, chemistry, computer science, counseling, education, electronics & telecommunications, ethics, finance, health science, humanities, industrial engineering, international commerce, journalism, language, law, management, marketing, mathematics, mechanical engineering, physics.

Educause [5] / Openness Constituency Group [6]: From critical IT services to educational content, distributed models based on openness are challenging higher education's traditional approaches. The Openness Constituent Group focuses on the emergence and adoption of open technologies, practices, policies, and initiatives, and how they affect the delivery and support of education. Topics include but are not limited to free and open source software, open content, open educational resources, open courseware, open standards, and management practices such as open business and enterprise 2.0.

Otago Polytechnic / Example, OER at Otago Poly: " [7] Exciting things are happening at Otago Polytechnic, in the South Island of New Zealand. A forward thinking Chief Executive in conjunction with the Educational Development Centre (EDC) are providing fertile ground for staff to develop open educational resources and practices within WikiEducator.

Staff at EDC say a happy side-effect of working in the open learning domain is that many of the staff have made efforts to improve their game. Closed environments like a password-protected LMS can hide sloppy practices. As Leigh Blackall says “In a closed environment ...we sometimes see compromised quality. For example, no referencing of images used in slide presentations, or breach of copyright, or even factual errors! In an environment where many can see, and a community that is more inclined to help than to criticise, these errors and oversights are quickly fixed”

FlatWorld Knowledge: [8] FlatWorld Knowledge preserves the best of the old - books by leading experts, rigorously reviewed and developed to the highest standards. Then we flip it all on its head. Our books are free online. We offer convenient, low-cost choices for students – softcovers for under $30, audio books and chapters, self-print options, and more. Our books are open for instructors to modify and make their own (for their own course - not for anybody else's). Our books are the hub of a social learning network where students learn from the book and each other. FlatWorld Knowledge is:

  • Free Textbooks. Online. Anytime. Anywhere.
  • Convenient Choices. Instructors adopt the book. Students choose the format.
  • Open Textbooks. It's your course. Now make it your book. Your call.
  • Social Learning. It happens already. We just make it easier.
  • A Smarter Way to Do Business. So what’s the catch?

Because great minds are evenly distributed. Great textbooks are not. Until Now.

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